Case Study

Gaylord Hotels Holiday Refresh

Marriott International
Nashville, TN - Grapevine, TX - Orlando, FL
Architecture, Hospitality
In the heart of the holiday season amidst the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, Gaylord Hotels embarked on a magical journey to spread festive cheer
Gaylord Opryland Lights at Christmas - Architectural and Hospitality Photographer

Embracing the beloved theme of “The Elf,” these hotels transformed their spaces into enchanting winter wonderlands, offering a much-needed escape from COVID stress. It was an honor to collaborate with Gaylord Hotels & Marriott International to document this festive transformation, capturing the essence of joy and wonder that “The Elf” attractions brought to life.

Nashville’s Gaylord Opryland Resort: In Nashville, the Gaylord Opryland Resort became a hub of holiday magic, where “The Elf” theme infused every corner with whimsical charm. The atriums were adorned with larger-than-life decorations, twinkling lights, and festive displays that transported guests straight into the world of Buddy the Elf. Interactive experiences, such as gingerbread decorating and Elf-themed scavenger hunts, brought smiles to faces of all ages. My photography aimed to capture the intricate details and joyful moments, from the awe-inspiring Christmas tree to the playful encounters with Santa’s helpers.

Grapevine’s Gaylord Texan Resort: In Grapevine, the Gaylord Texan Resort embraced the holiday spirit with an immersive “The Elf” experience that captivated visitors. The grand lobby was transformed into a winter wonderland, featuring scenes from the iconic movie and interactive activities that engaged both children and adults. From ice skating under a canopy of sparkling lights to crafting holiday ornaments, the resort offered a variety of festive experiences. My photos focused on the vibrant decorations and the joyous expressions of guests as they navigated the enchanting spaces.

Orlando’s Gaylord Palms Resort: Down in Orlando, the Gaylord Palms Resort brought the magic of “The Elf” to life with a blend of traditional holiday elements and innovative attractions. The resort’s signature ICE! exhibit featured intricately carved ice sculptures depicting scenes from the movie, creating a frosty paradise for visitors to explore. Additionally, the resort hosted live shows and character meet-and-greets, allowing guests to interact with their favorite characters from the film. Through my lens, I sought to capture the wonder and excitement that filled the air, from the sparkling ice sculptures to the heartfelt moments shared by families.

Documenting these holiday transformations was a remarkable experience, as each location offered its unique take on the beloved “The Elf” theme while maintaining a cohesive sense of joy and festivity. The careful attention to detail, the interactive elements, and the sheer scale of the decorations showcased Gaylord Hotels’ commitment to creating unforgettable holiday experiences, even in the midst of a challenging year.

As we look back on the 2020 holiday season, the “Elf” themed attractions at Gaylord Hotels stand out as a beacon of hope and joy, reminding us of the enduring power of holiday magic. Through my photographs, I aimed to preserve the essence of this magical time, capturing the smiles, the laughter, and the twinkling lights that made the season truly special.